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Preview: 1st Week's Oral Arguments, FindLaw's 'SCOTUS Week'

By William Peacock, Esq. on October 01, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Summer is a rough time for Supreme Court watchers: Unlike sports fans, there are no free agency rumors to keep us occupied. Instead, we spend all summer wondering if that one case out of a flyover state which has immense implications for an obscure point of law will make it to the big game -- Supreme Court review.

The time is at hand, folks. Rumor has it that we'll be seeing an orders list from the Supreme Court tomorrow, with grants and denials in all of those obscure cert. petitions you've been watching. And next week, the games begin when the Court starts hearing oral arguments ... finally.

We'll be celebrating the Court's return in style, as next week is FindLaw's "SCOTUS Week," with exhaustive coverage of the Court in all of our legal professional blogs. Stay tuned, sports Court fans: The fun starts now.

Monday, October 6

  • Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi v. IndyMac MBS -- This case was dismissed as improvidently granted (DIG'd) on Monday, shortly after nearly all of the parties in the case came to a settlement. SCOTUSblog has more on the DIG, as well as the circuit split that remains intact in the wake of the dismissal.
  • Heien v. North Carolina -- We covered the cert. grant on this one back in April. A cop pulled over a car with one of its multiple brake lights out, thinking that the still-functioning lights were insufficient to comply with state law. Unsurprisingly, he found a duffel bag full of cocaine. The big question: Does the officer's good faith mistake of law provide the individualized suspicion required to justify a traffic stop?

Tuesday, October 7

  • Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Company, LLC v. Owens -- Not every case will get you hot and bothered. This one is about pleading standards for removal to federal court -- is the defendant seeking removal required to include evidence supporting federal jurisdiction in the notice of removal? Again, we'll leave it to SCOTUSblog if you are, for some incomprehensible reason, still interested.
  • Holt v. Hobbs -- This badass inmate, Gregory Houston Hobbs, got a cert. grant off of a handwritten pro se petition. The issue? His right to grow a beard in prison for religious reasons, a request that the Arkansas Department of Corrections denied. The issue is whether the grooming policy violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, 42 U. S. C. § 2000cc et seq. We have more coverage on the lower court's decision, and the cert. grant, on our U.S. Eighth Circuit blog.

Wednesday, October 8

  • Warger v. Shauers -- This one out of the Eighth Circuit is really interesting -- a law school casebook classic in the making, if you will. You know that whole "we don't peek into the jury room" rule from the common law, the one that goes back centuries? Well, there's a circuit split on whether we can break the tradition for jurors who lie during voir dire, only to later have another juror snitch on them. Stay tuned if you're intrigued -- this is one we'll be keeping a close eye on.
  • Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk -- Last term, the Court decided Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp., where it held that workers were not entitled to overtime for time spent donning safety gear and changing clothes. This seems like the same case, different delay -- security screenings before and after work rather than time spent popping on a helmet -- but that case was complicated by issues of collective bargaining and Justice Scalia's trip to the dictionary, so there could a surprise in store.

Heads Up: Next Week Is 'SCOTUS Week' at FindLaw!

If all this talk of oral arguments and cert. grants has you hot and bothered, you're not alone! We're so excited for the start of the new season that next week, we're dedicating a whole week to the Supreme Court: cert. pool overviews from each circuit on their respective court blogs, and coverage across all of our many legal professional blogs.

So stay tuned -- and don't forget to follow us on Twitter (@FindLawLP) and Facebook (FindLaw for Legal Professionals).

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